Media misreports link 2021 IAF rescue operation in Andhra to recent Telangana floods



On July 13 media reports stated that the rise in water level of the Godavari river triggered widespread floods in Telangana. The low-lying areas are facing the brunt of the natural calamity. The devestation of this can be seen when two farmers trapped on top of a water tank were safely rescued by the Indian Air Force (IAF).

In the backdrop of this, multiple media channels have aired a clip of people being rescued by an Indian Air Force (IAF) chopper. As per their reportage, it shows scenes of a rescue operation at the Godavari river where people are stranded on a crane surrounded by a rapid stream of water.

India Today aired the visuals as people being evacuated from floodwater in Telangana.

Times Now Navbharat and Times Now also broadcasted the footage with the same claim.

Zee Bihar Jharkhand also aired the same video

Mirror Now, another English laguage national channel, followed suit.

Even TV9 Kannada also promoted the visuals with the same reportage.

News18, news agency IANS, Telangana Today, Telugu Stop, Mirror Now, Times Now, VV Balakrishnan of The New Indian Express tweeted the video as rescue operations in Telangana. Several other media outlets, including Public TV, ETV Telangana, Siasat, and India.com made the same claim.

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Old video

We noticed many users replied to The New Indian Express journalist VV Balakrishna’s tweet clarifying that this was an old video from Andhra Pradesh.

Using this clue, we performed a keyword search which led us to news reports by NDTV and Hindustan Times from November 2021. These reports covered IAF’s rescue of 10 people trapped in the Chitravathi River in Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur district.

We also found this footage in a news bulletin aired by NDTV in 2021.

A YouTube channel named ‘Extreme Videos‘ also posted the video in 2021 which is at present being passed off as visuals from recent rescue operations.

In fact, in November 2021, the Indian Air Force tweeted photos with details about the rescue operations.

To sum it up, multiple news channels misreported the 2022 Telangana floods by airing footage of the 2021 rescue operation in Andhra Pradesh by the IAF as the latest visuals.

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